Three cheers for Bette Midler (PEOPLE, Feb. 3), and the real love of her crazy life, Harry Kipper. The Divine Miss M is hysterical, dramatic and just plain beautiful. It was a treat to see her on your cover.
Bette Midler should stop bitching about her marriage being voted least likely to succeed in a PEOPLE poll last April. Anyone who gets married in Las Vegas at 2 a.m. by an Elvis impersonator should not expect to be taken seriously.
Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Just one question: What is a "turquoise cocktail cigarette?" Bette, some of your fans, like myself, ain't got the class to know!
Mary Ann Conk
New York City
It's a cigarette with a turquoise stem, given out as a party favor.—ED.
Having served as a police officer for 31 years, I feel that prison sentences are often far too light for many criminals. However, I just cannot believe the harsh sentence handed down by North Carolina Judge James H. Pou Bailey against Carl Pait: 44 years for check forgery is outrageous. Pait deserves justice. Let's get him another judge.
Sgt. Richard Sullivan
Why did Carl Pait get 44 years in jail when murderers and rapists get less? He hurt no one but himself.
The state of North Carolina has the wrong man behind bars. Judge James Bailey's "pistol-packing" ways are far more of a menace to society than Pait's wayward pen could ever be.
I can't help but feel angry at the attitudes of the Baptists in Bangor, Maine who called upon Jerry Falwell to intervene when their preacher, the Rev. Herman C. "Buddy" Frankland, admitted to adultery but refused to leave his pulpit. Our ministers and priests are only human. When they stumble and fall, we should treat them the way we would wish to be treated—with understanding and with charity in our hearts.
Patricia J. Law
Oak Bluffs, Mass.
My family has known Buddy Frankland and his family for 23 years. I remember many times when they made sure we had food on our table. When my brother was in an accident, the Franklands took my sister and me into their house so that our mother could be with him. I do not condone what Buddy has done, but it is no greater than any other sin in God's eyes. As Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone."
Charlotte A. Buss
I am appalled that in spite of court-ordered visitation for Yoko Ono, her first husband, Tony Cox, disappeared with their daughter, Kyoko, because he wasn't getting "a fair shake" from the Lennons. How did this man decide that his daughter and her mother would be denied further contact? Whose interests did he believe he was serving? Certainly not those of his child. As a mother, my heart pours out to Yoko once again.
My husband and I operate a business next door to Pauline Santa Claus in Pittsburgh and take offense to your description of our neighborhood as "the seediest part" of the West End. This is a low-income area and many are unemployed. But everyone, black and white alike, watches out for each other. Senior citizens can walk the streets with little fear. Children are taught respect. In many ways we are richer by far than people in more affluent areas.
Every day those of us who work in the field of animal protection see the pages of Alice Brock's book How to Massage Your Cat come alive in real-life abuse. Unfortunately, some individuals will take great pleasure in performing these massage routines. Perhaps when I care for another bloody, broken creature as it writhes in pain, I'll say, "I'm sorry. This was supposed to be humorous." Alice Brock's words and drawings are distasteful and would have been better off in their original destination—a desk drawer.
Patricia E. Mercer
Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
"I'm English, he's Jewish," says Nicholas Rowe, trying to debunk the idea that his casting in Young Sherlock Holmes had anything to do with his resemblance to the film's producer, Steven Spielberg. For your information, Nicky, your physical characteristics were not determined by the name of the country stamped on your passport any more than Spielberg's were by his religious affiliation. Being English and Jewish are not mutually exclusive. Apparently, neither are attendance at prestigious Eton and utter, inexcusable ignorance.
Jill Sherman Donner
Sherman Oaks, Calif.